Sunday, April 8, 2018

Lake County Pet Expo

So, I said I'd post a blog about this, so here goes.  This is what happened with the Lake County Pet Expo.

We've attended this expo... I want to say every year they've had it, with the exception of one year, where I was actually in the ER with breathing issues related to my asthma, the night before.  Needless to say, I didn't go into a expo building full of pets the next day.

So.... exchange of emails (mine in blue, theirs in red):


I am emailing to invite you to attend this year's event.

The contract is being edited, so will be a few days coming, but was hoping to get an RSVP to this email. We like to limit shelter/rescue participation to 25.  So please let me know if I should get a contract out to you.


So let me know if you can attend and that you will have adoptable animals to bring. Thank you!


Yes, definitely get me a contract, we would love to attend.

We always bring adoptable pets to the event, so this isn't a problem :)  We'll have some furballs with us.

Talk to you soon! 
Take care,

NWI Chinchillas

Southside Shelties

(normally I won't be attaching my full email signature to each of these, but I am here, so you can see what my emails look like, in the event you've never received an email from me)



I apologize for the oversight, but we didn't realize you were a dog breeder as well. We are withdrawing the original invitation to participate given this fact. 

Apologies for the confusion, but it is against our mission to support dog breeding at our rescue event.


The chinchilla rescue is completely separate from the dog breeding (obviously, they're two distinct animals).  If you don't mind my asking, how is promoting a chinchilla rescue also supporting the dog breeding?  Not sure I understand.    



Your website mentions you also breed chinchillas. 

Unfortunately we just can't have a booth run by a person that is involved in breeding operations.  

We spend hours and hours and hours of our lives attempting to educate against breeders and to help eradicate the overpopulation of companion animals. It is just not in keeping with our mission, especially given that we turn other 501c3 rescue entities away. 


I've bred the chinchillas (responsibly, as well... I'm a member of both chinchilla professional organizations, bred and show, and have won National placings and breeder awards) for about as long as I've had the rescue.  I guess it's just confusing because it's never been a problem before and I'm pretty positive that when I used to talk to Vivian, she knew that I bred and show chinchillas and I still was able to attend.  That's fine that I can't, it's just different, so I just wanted to clarify.

Personally, I can't agree with you that all breeders are bad.  Sure, there's definitely ones that are breeding willy nilly, breeding whatever animal to whatever animal, with no regard for health testing or anything like that.  I would agree, those are adding to the problem, regardless of what type of animal we're talking about.  I don't think that's all breeders though, so I guess we'll have to agree to disagree there.

It's actually kind of funny -- I actually told a different expo that I would be unable to attend their expo, as I had already committed to being at the LCPE that day.  I actually had gone as far as already listing the LCPE on my website, as a place we would be attending.  I always have more supply sales and more adoptions resulting from attending the other expo, but, I was holding loyal to LCPE.  Apparently that was misplaced, but that's ok, because now I can go to the other expo and rehome more pets (which is kind of sad, as I try to support the local market, and of course, the other is further away).  I'm sorry that I'm unwelcome at this one, as I really did enjoy being a part of this expo.

They couldn't be bothered to email me back.


Oh, and at the same time these emails were being exchanged, I sent a message on facebook to the previous head of this expo.  She used to stop in the pet store where I worked, and I swear we talked about the chins, chin shows (I know we talked about this, because I know that we'd had the discussion about me not being able to always get time off at previous jobs, to attend chin shows where I'd show my *gasp* bred chins).  I probably even talked about breeding the dogs back then, and she never batted an eye (and I was at last year's expo, which would have been later in time, than when we talked).

I sent her a message, just basically asking if she had any insight to this.  As I'm sending these messages... this is facebook, so I can see that she's reading the messages, and not responding.  The last thing I said to her was, I mean, is it literally as black and white as, my dog was bred, so I must be a horrible person and could never be a good person, even though I've done rescue for 15 years? I just can't quite wrap my head around this... still no response.  I responded "apparently so."  I really wanted to reply, at the end, with "thanks for all your help!" since she did such a great job of ignoring me, but I refrained.  Honestly, if she'd just replied, "hey, new policy, sorry."  It would be totally different.  But I have supported their expo for years upon years, and now they're going to take my personal life, and use it to exclude my rescue... even though, having rescue chinchillas there, at a booth selling supplies, which support the rescue chinchillas... to me... in no way, supports my dog / chinchilla breeding, which are completely separate.  It'd be one thing if I was bringing pedigreed show chins or baby chins out of show lines, or puppies... But whatever, to each their own.

So there you have it.  They spend hours and hours of their lives attempting to educate against breeders.  That is a total PETA mentality.

In case you're curious why being against all breeders might come across as irritating, let's have a quick chat about this.  Two different scenarios: reputable breeders stop breeding, or everyone stops breeding.

If reputable breeders stop breeding, what happens?  The only people left breeding are backyard breeders, who have no care for the health concerns and welfare of the animals.  You know how they say to stay away from puppy mills?  Those dogs aren't health tested, aren't raised in a home, no care for the health or welfare of the animals, just the almighty dollar -- THOSE are the people who would still breed, if reputable breeders quit.  Guess what happens then?  Breed standard goes to pot, you end up with a lot more mixed breeds (heck, go to pet stores now... there's already boxer / poodle mixes and other random ones... selling for $1000+) and whatever dogs remain are super unhealthy and health issues will get bred in, and over time, the dogs will become even more sickly and  unhealthy, due to no one watching to ensure that dogs with health issues are not bred.  Obviously, not a good outcome.

If everyone stops breeding -- well, this won't happen, cause just like the way drugs are banned, and magically, people still have drugs -- but let's say, all the dogs of the world are magically sterile and can't breed.  Give it, oh, 10-20 years, at best, and there will be no dogs to own.  They'll all die out because no one's breeding them.  Since the people at the expo are against all breeders... this is apparently the desired end result... which is the PETA philosophy, that none of us should own any pets.  Say bye to your cats and dogs and chins and small animals.

I understand they're rescue focused.  I totally get that.  I have no problem with that, rescuing animals is great (imagine me, thinking this, after having a rescue for 15 years now).  But as I told them in the email, I can't agree with the blanket mentality that all breeders are bad.  Sure, there are bad ones.  There's also the good, reputable ones, that aren't the problem.  And sure, you can find people who argue both sides.  Like this expo, which argues that all breeders are the problem, they view every animal born as being one more potentially in the shelter.  It could be, sure.  But reputable breeders take them back, when it doesn't work out, so, considerably less likely.  And, as mentioned above...if no one breeds, that's the end of having pets.  Can't agree with the PETA mentality, sorry.

I originally thought I'd be at another expo that day, with the LCPE withdrawing my invitation.  Turns out... there was a chin show that we thought was May 19th & 20th, which Jim had the dates wrong on (kind of funny, considering he reserved the hall)... it's actually May 5th (same day as when this expo and the other one were).  So, I'll be skipping expos that weekend, and focusing on supporting chinchilla breeders instead.  I know, how horrible of me.

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